Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is introducing an appointment system for its blood donation clinics during the coronavirus pandemic.

It says it needs to maintain its supply but is introducing changes in order to implement safe social distancing.

People intending to donate should make contact with the service in advance.

They will then be screened as they arrive and if they are well they will go through the normal process, said Andy Kelly, Chief Executive of the IBTS.

“We have hand sanitisers in lots of places around the clinic venues and we have distance between people and beds.

“We will have a much more controlled number of people in our clinics.”

Cancer patients, trauma cases and newborn babies will still require transfusions.

However, Mr Kelly says only 80% of the normal supply is required due to the cancellation of many hospital procedures and surgeries.

“Some surgery will have to go on because of urgent cases, cancer treatments will continue, there will be some trauma but less than normal.

“There will be some transplant cases that continue and support for those people awaiting transplant.

“There will be premature babies who may require blood when they are born and maybe their mothers as well.

“So, all of those things and there are a number of patients who are transfusion-dependent who will require transfusion on a regular basis who absolutely have to get them.”

There has been a drop of 13% in the number of people attending which the IBTS says is manageable for now.

[ul][b]Useful information[/b]
[li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it [url=https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html]here[/url] [/li]
[li]Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people – this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;[/li]
[li]GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.[/li]
[li]ALONE has [burl=987612]launched a national support line[/burl] and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li]
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